Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 28: March 12

Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Worship God 

Isaiah 58: 6-10 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday” 

According to Isaiah, if we want to worship God we'll look out for others and share what we have with people who are hungry and need a place to rest. My earliest memory of seeing something like this was as a little girl with my dad running errands. We would see someone on the highway asking for help. My dad would pull over to the nearest fast food restaurant, order food, then drive back around where the person was to give them the meal and a small Bible and ask if there was anything else he could do to help. 

I learned more about worshipping God during those moments with my dad than almost any other time in my life. When he helped someone, he wouldn't plan or schedule it. We were always on our way to a place where we had to be. We had a schedule to keep, but my dad would intentionally help anyone who God put in his path. It wasn't about making time for an extra service project or mission trip, it was a reaction…a reaction to what God calls us to do…a reaction to seeing someone we're called to love in need…a reaction to God's incredible love that leads us to worship him by loving others. 
Eric Samuel Timm tells us that "as the body of Christ our greatest crime against humanity is our indifference and indecision towards the cultural problems we are faced with. This tolerance lulls us into a state of limbo that kills action. Without action there is no rescue. For some, without rescue there is no hope. You can be that hope. You can be that rescue." 

This reminds me of a friend in college who had a heart for the homeless. Coming from a broken and eventually non-existent family, she decided one summer to live out of her car. I remember arguing with her and her gentle, wise response to my protectiveness: "Katie, God is giving me an opportunity to reach my homeless brothers and sisters on their own turf; on a level they'll respect and understand. It's what Jesus did for us. How can I do anything but what He's called me to do?" 

How can we do anything else but what He has called us to do? God longs for us to worship, love, and know Him. Let us live out Isaiah 58 so that we may worship God. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your love. Forgive us when we miss out on what you have called us to do. Help us respond to those in need, near and far away, out of our love for you. Bring us to the point where we connect meeting the needs of others with worshiping, knowing and loving you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen. 

Katie Kautzmann, Youth Director, Fairmont UMC, Minnesota Conference 

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